Are iPad Skeptics as Wrong as iPhone Naysayers Were?

So please mark this post and come back in two years to see the results of my prediction: I predict they will not sell anywhere near the 10M Jobs predicts for 2008. Okay, it’s possible there are enough Apple religious people to buy a lot of them at first, but even the most diehard Mac fans who buy one of these will secretly carry two phones. One to prove how loyal and “cool” they are, and the other to actually make and receive calls.


Here are more reasons I am not impressed by their phone, and why I’m surprised so many otherwise intelligent people think this is a watershed for the industry.

Microsoft’s not perfect; we don’t have the ultimate phone either, but I’ll take Windows Mobile any day over the iPhone and I bet serious users will agree.

Harry says: Sprague underestimated the appeal of the iPhone’s interface and Apple’s ability to make a touchscreen device into a decent phone. And I’m not sure why he brings up latency as a reason he’s unimpressed when he hasn’t tried the phone yet. He’s chimed in about the iPad on Twitter, and he’s not impressed by it, either:

A few overall thoughts about these predictions:

  • They failed to figure out that the iPhone was a fungible platform. It’s dangerous to predict that a pricey phone that doesn’t support third-party apps is destined to tank–its manufacturer just might cut the cost and open it up to developers.
  • They didn’t get that the phone’s browser was a breakthrough. For many people, it, not the phone, turned out to be the gizmo’s primary application.
  • They didn’t acknowledge how far ahead the iPhone’s software was, and how long it might take for other companies to catch up. Two and a half years later, the iPhone still has a lead in multiple respects.
  • They came to conclusions about the phone’s usability based on insufficient evidence. In January of 2007, almost nobody who didn’t work for Apple or one of its partners had touched an iPhone, with the exception of a handful of journalists. I don’t think any of these writers were among the lucky few.

All of which leads me to one conclusion about the current spate of iPad predictions: The best ones aren’t the ones that read like they were written by someone who belonged to the debate club in high school. The best ones are the ones that cheerfully acknowledge that there’s a lot we don’t know yet; that the iPad could look a lot different in a year than it does today; and that expressing opinions about a product you haven’t tried is inherently dangerous.

That said, if you’ve got predictions about the iPad–or thoughts about iPad predictions in general–I won’t try to discourage you from expressing them in the comments…

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